11 December 2017

Anzac Parade gateway to be transformed after Commonwealth sells key properties

| Ian Bushnell
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Canberra’s Amalgamated Property Group plans to redevelop the Anzac Park East site as a mixed-use precinct.

The gateway to iconic Anzac Parade in Campbell is to be transformed after the Commonwealth’s sale of Anzac Park East, Anzac Park West and the adjacent former cafeteria site.

The Anzac Park East building on the intersection of Constitution Avenue and Anzac Parade will be demolished and redeveloped into a mixed-use precinct after Canberra property developer Amalgamated Property Group (APG) acquired the iconic site for $34.3 million and the former cafeteria site for $21.7 million.

Sydney-based EG Funds Management paid $51.0 million for Anzac Park West and $15.5 million for another historic Parliamentary Triangle property, East Block, in Parkes.

The four sites in the Parliamentary Triangle sold for a total of $122.5 million and follows the sale of West Block in Parkes last September for $6.25 million.

This is the first time the Commonwealth has offered land for sale within the parliamentary area to the private sector.

Anzac Park East, at the intersection of Constitution Avenue and the iconic Anzac Parade, and the cafeteria development site at Block 8 Section 3 on Constitution Avenue, have a combined total land area in excess of 31,000 square metres.

APG said it would continue to transform the Canberra landscape with vibrant new developments on the sites.

The existing Anzac Park East office building, which has been vacant since 1997, will be demolished and redeveloped into a mixed-use precinct that may include residential, commercial, restaurants, hotel, and retail.

General Manager of Amalgamated Property Group Phil O’Brien said Constitution Avenue and Anzac Parade were two of Canberra’s grand boulevards, with panoramic views toward some of the nation’s most significant landmarks and on the door step of Lake Burley Griffin.

“We recognise the significance of these sites and the opportunity that is now bestowed on our group to create vibrant mixed-use developments, whilst also respecting its heritage status as a portal element in the vista from Parliament House to the Australian War Memorial,” he said.

“Our design principals will contribute to the activation of Constitution Avenue and will combine a balance of built form that will integrate with open landscaped areas, while creating a unique and prestigious development for locals and visitors to enjoy.”

He said APG would ensure the development connected the community to the importance of the original 1960s buildings that were designed by the National Capital Development Commission’s director of architecture, Gareth Roberts.

The development will highlight the function of the original buildings in the development of the National Capital, with heritage information incorporated into the new precinct.

APG is currently redeveloping Civic Quarter in the heart of the Canberra CBD, with stage one of the development well underway. Other recent developments include the award-winning Manhattan Apartments in the City and Price WaterhouseCoopers Canberra headquarters in Forrest.

EG Funds Management was not able to comment on its plans for the sites it has purchased.

Another Canberra developer, Geocon, is planning to redevelop West Block in Parkes as a luxury heritage hotel.

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